The Italian Influence

The influence comes from everywhere, like a multiform rain of arrows that make the Argentinian kitchen a melting pot where everything molds prejudice-less.However, the Spanish and Italian ones stand out by their volume and relevance. You only have to see an Argentinian talking: the grammar is Castilian but at the same time they move their hands like the Italians.

Although pasta is undoubtedly Italian, the Argentinian have some sauces that belong only to them, like the tuco, a sort of Spanish pisto or French ratatouille used for almost everything, or the Scroffa Ravioli, Italian by name but Argentinian by surname (in the image).

The streets are full of "Pasta Factories", title under which you would imagine some chain assembly and a lot of workers sweating. Not so far from the prediction, the interior is populated with machines that cover every function demanded by the uncountable types of pasta:

In this store (or factory indeed) in Belgrano, Pascual explains us, with a lot of patience, every step of thepastistic way, and he insists on affirming that his pasta recipe is not translatable, since its success depends on a lot of external factors which vary from one machine to the other and from some conditions to others. "The dough is to be tamed", he repeats. However, after a lot of insisting with an immutable smile, he finally gives us his recipe which he advices not to try at home:

Recipe BELGRANO'S PASTA

For the most common, yellow and simple one, knead together:
- 10 kg semolina
- 1.75 kg egg
- 1.75 kg water

What he does advice is to perpetuate the Gnocchi tradition on the 29th of each month, putting a little coin under your plate to ensure prosperity.

Recipe - GNOCCHI ON FIRE -

by Pascual

1. Cook 1 litre of milk with 200 g of cream and 200 g of butter, and season with black pepper, salt and nutmeg.
2. Add 1 or 2 beaten eggs just when it comes to the boil, and keep cooking till it starts to boil again.
3. Lower the heat and add aproximately 600g of candial wheat semolina, stiring constantly.
4. When it's cooked remove from the fire and spread the dough on the table, making a 2cm thick layer.
5. Cut it in medallions, cover in grated cheese and keep.
6. Place them in a dish with the chosen sauce and heat in the oven for a few minutes.

 

Finally, down here they like their pizza covered with fainá, a chickpea and flour dough, uncomprehensibly thick to be a cover. It's not for me to judge any tradition, so I'll leave you with a song that claims moscato, pizza and fainá as a safe combination: